Irfaan all the way for President

first_imgDear Editor,I first met Mohamed Irfaan Ali in 2009. He was a member of a cricket team I managed for a match in Wakenaam Island and despite being the Housing Minister at the time, Irfaan willingly subjected himself to my “tough” style of management without complaint. I was impressed by how this young man (he was 28 at the time) handled the pressure of expectation from the large crowd, his ease of interaction with everyone and his willingness to be a minor team player.Irfaan made 4 runs, not the fastest runner, but he nevertheless put serious effort in when called on in the field and even bowled a few overs. The crowd loved it and he received a standing ovation on his return to the pavilion. It made for a wonderful day and many people still remind me of that match from time to time.During the tussle with the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Cricket Board, Irfaan and I were on opposite sides of the fence. Irfaan did not change his attitude towards me, instead of becoming hostile as was expected of a powerful Government Minister; he expressed admiration for my willingness to stand for what I believed to be right. It was at that point I stopped believing the stories being peddled about the PPP/C and started my quest for the truth.Robin Singh won v the Attorney General and remains a landmark CCJ decision. I became vocal in matters of Government, I spent more time learning how government works, asking endless questions of my friends in the legal fraternity. I began writing my opinions on issues and suggesting solutions via the letter columns in local newspapers. People began taking notice and I was asked to join or meet with various political parties over the years. I always found ways to politely decline.I watched the PPP/C suffer from a well-orchestrated public vilification rife with what we now call “fake news”, allegations of massive corruption totalling five times the annual budget, allegations so ludicrous that I soon realised that Hitler’s theory that “People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”Irfaan Ali was delivering on promises; he was innovating, taking the “One Stop Shop” for housing to the people; house lots were being distributed at a record rate; wells were being built, construction was booming; special projects were being implemented with the Young Professional and Re-migrant Schemes.During this period we would run into each other at various events and he would take my inquiries about his “mansion” in good grace and return the ribbing with good nature. I still marvel that all of this was done by such a young man; few could handle the pressures of the demand for housing and house lots, the Auditor General’s reports show housing stock increased by 28,456 during his tenure, they do not show that the projects he started are still the only ones being developed.My sense of fair play led me to defend the record of the PPP/C and ask others to examine the facts rather than believe the big lies. I was never asked to do so by anyone in that party, I simply wanted the truth to be known. After the Government changed in 2015, I again ran into Irfaan and he expressed a simple “thank you” for my support and belief in his integrity. That action spoke volumes on his character, and my respect grew as a result.Over the coming weeks and months, we will all be subject to information and fake news about Irfaan Ali, I already know all that I need to about this man from the people, for the people and will be making every effort to make him our next President for the betterment of all Guyanese.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more


first_imgSt Michael’s defender Michael ‘The Rock’ Gallagher has said the reigning All-County League champions defeat to Dungloe last weekend was a wake-up call.Dungloe ran out convincing winners over an out of sorts St Michael’s side that were without the services of Donegal players Colm McFadden, Christy Toye and Marc Anthony McGinley. Despite scoring a goal in the opening minute, Eddie Harkin’s side never kicked on and a rampant Dungloe side ran out convincing winners on a score-line of 2-11 to 1-06.However, Gallagher feels the defeat was the wake-up call they needed ahead of their clash with Ardara on Easter Monday.Gallagher told Donegal Daily, “We were missing a few key players last week, but we were second best all the way through last week’s game and deserved nothing from it.“Dungloe were the fitter, faster and hungrier side and they fully deserved their win. “I think the manner of defeat surprised a few of our lads, and maybe it’s the wake-up call we needed.“We’re maybe not where we should be in terms of fitness and we know now that we need to get back on the training pitch, and keep working at it.St Michael’s won the All-County League last year but it’s the Donegal SFC title they crave having come agonisingly close to winning it in 2011.They were narrowly edged out in a titanic semi-final with St Eunan’s in 2014, and again lost out to the same opposition last year at the same juncture.However, the manner of that defeat hurt St Michael’s, fancied by many to go all the way, they exited tamely after a second-half collapse.And now they will faces their old foes again in the group stages of the Donegal SFC along with Kilcar and Killybegs. It’s a tough group, with St Eunan’s, Kilcar and St Michael’s who all have genuine ambitions of winning the Donegal SFC title.Gallagher said, “It’s a tough group, there’s no doubt about it, but I think that’s a good thing.“It focuses you right from the get go, and we know we’ve got the hit the ground running against Killybegs.“We’ve beaten Kilcar before in the championship in Towney, and we’ve run Eunan’s close, so while we know it’s going to be tough we don’t fear anyone. “But we’ve a lot of work to do before those games, and we just need to keep training hard.“But now we’ll look to bounce back against Ardara on Monday and hopefully we can get a win and kick-start the season from there.”GAA: GALLAGHER SAYS DUNGLOE DEFEAT IS WAKE-UP CALL FOR ST MICHAEL’S was last modified: March 25th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal SFCdungloeGAAMichael GallagherSt Michaelslast_img read more